Traficant stirs Ohio's political pot

Sept. 7, 2009 at 11:47 AM

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Rep. James Traficant told a supportive crowd in Ohio he may tackle the federal government he said cheated to imprison him for seven years.

"I plan to get right back in it!" the former Democratic U.S. congressman from Ohio's Youngstown area told about 1,200 supporters Sunday, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Traficant vowed that he'd take on the federal government he said connived to jail him for racketeering and bribery. He was released last week.

Folks attending his welcome-home party seemed not to care that the U.S. Congress voted 420-1 to expel Traficant, either, the Post said.

"I think he still feels he has a mission," said John Brown, 73, a retiree. He said he thought Traficant was "wrongfully accused. I never thought our legal system could get this low."

Others, however, said they were shocked by the hero's welcome Traficant received and expressed concern that he could become a political player once again.

"The perception that he is being received back as a conquering hero is not true," Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams told the Post. "His antics, his vision of what is appropriate and inappropriate ... we are beyond that now."

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